Ok I think I found a fix and I wanted to post this for posterity. Long story short, turn on APN. But don't bother looking in settings.
Now the long story long is I have had a bionic since oct 2011 and picture in text msg worked fine when I got it but sometime between nov and mar I have not been able to receive or probably send any picture in a txt. First I thought it was just from iphones then from ATT or other carriers but testing showed I couldnt get a pic from anyone. I finally called Verizon and they were very helpful but his final answer was to do a full backup and system flush. I love it when the cure is worse than the disease. Anyway verizon said the problem seemed to be in my phone as the network was fine. Anyway I hit google but found nothing that really applied but one post mentioned APN in passing and that reminded me of a setting I saw.
I have a utility on my bionic called miniinfo that lets you tweak lots of settings and one of them is APN. I did research on this setting at the time I installed it and the company mentioned reference to 3G and something about GSM networks. It didnt seem to apply to my phone or carrier at all so I turned it off. The phone seemed fine after so I forgot about it. Well IF you have a Bionic, and IF you use Miniinfo, DO NOT TURN OFF APN!!!!
It kills pictures in text messages. I still don't know much more about what APN does or why its not in the settings but this app can shut it down but it matters on this one thing. This may apply to lots of other phones and probably a few other utility apps butI thought I'd post it here.
I'd love to hear about anyone who knows more about this setting and could explain it. Hope this helps some people.